Somalia

International Contact Group to discuss way forward in Somalia

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Nairobi, 16 December 2009 - Representatives from more than 30 countries, regional and international organizations are meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 17 December. They will discuss concrete measures to support further the Somali Government and the implementation of the Djibouti Agreement.

Welcoming the meeting, the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, who chairs the ICG, said this is a time to take stock of the progress made and to lay down clear and tangible steps forward.

"We now have a credible partner in the Somali Government to work with in re-establishing the elements of governance and to put in place a foundation for strengthening stability. The International Community must seize this opportune moment to provide immediate and urgent support to the Somali Government.

"Despite the numerous challenges and the horrendous attacks by those who try to derail the peace process, the current Government has managed to stay its course for nearly a year. They have until August 2011 to pave the way for restoration of peace and for rebuilding of the lives of the people.

"Any assistance provided now is much more valuable than it will be in the future because it will allow this Government to fully engage in establishing stability and to begin rebuilding the nation. In essence, support now will guarantee a future later.

"The International Community was united in its condemnation of the 3 December bombing in Mogadishu. It needs to be equally united and determined in supporting the Government in its efforts to advance the stability."

Mr. Ould-Abdallah also expressed his thanks to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) for organizing the conference and to the Saudis for their offer to host the meeting and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for facilitations offered.